Shoppers have complained to the Higher Enterprise Bureau about Want merchandise that by no means arrived or have been unrecognizable after they did. France, which was certainly one of Want’s largest markets, ordered serps and cell app shops final fall to take away the corporate from their on-line listings, citing the presence of harmful home equipment and different merchandise. Retailers on Want confronted lawsuits from firms like Peanuts Worldwide, which owns characters from the favored cartoon, claiming trademark infringement and counterfeiting.
Feminine buyers complained about being proven advertisements for merchandise designed for male genitalia. Advertisements that confirmed an animated penis appeared on apps that might enchantment to kids, together with a recreation known as Loopy Cake Swap. These advertisements drew scrutiny from British promoting regulators, as did advertisements promising unsubstantiated reductions of as much as 98 p.c for sneakers, in addition to advertisements that includes a child’s uncovered backside and a lady in a corset along with her breasts partly revealed.
“It’s a method that’s extra just like spam than truly making an attempt to hit a goal market,” Mx. Grygiel mentioned. (Want mentioned it was tightening its promoting controls, selling merchandise solely from top-rated retailers and filtering out inappropriate advertisements.)
Nonetheless, Want, which is run by a mother or father firm known as ContextLogic, did effectively early within the pandemic, as stay-at-home mandates stifled competitors from bodily retailers. However final yr, as buyers have been venturing out extra and turning into much less engaged on Want, digital promoting was additionally turning into costlier, inflicting the corporate to cut back its spending. (It mentioned it deliberate to select up the tempo this summer time.)
Strain additionally constructed internally at Want for years.
Managers have been consistently shifted round — like chess items, one worker mentioned — which resulted in excessive turnover amongst employees fed up with the upheaval. Many staff complained that the corporate was not geared up to deal with the orders that poured in early within the pandemic, and colleagues burned out beneath the extreme stress and lengthy hours.
Workers mentioned their friends have been typically ignored or made to attend after elevating considerations about high quality management points, corresponding to the dearth of standardized product sizing for retailers. Listings for weapons and different unlawful merchandise have been typically not eliminated, they mentioned. Neither have been many deceptive listings, like one which appeared to supply a fridge for $1 however was truly promoting the magnets proven within the photograph of the equipment.